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Front view of Mandonator serial 5

= Mandonator™ Serial #5 ===

This instrument was commissioned by multi-instrumentalist David Hansen. He posted the following comment about it on Mandolin Cafe: "I am the proud owner of Mandonator™ #5 ... I must say that the instrument is absolutely gorgeous and the craftsmanship is top notch. What really grabs your attention, though, is the tone: it has a very mellow, sweet tone that also has plenty of volume and presence to it. It's effortless to play, as well, but what I really like about it is the tone; it has a very unique voice."

The options he chose are:

  • Four strings with standard 13.875" mandolin scale
  • Mahogany body with black ebony binding
  • No cutaway
  • Two round soundholes with ebony linings
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Abalone fingerboard position markers
  • Black ebony headstock veneer with abalone star inlay
  • Banjo-shaped head
  • Nickel plated hardware
  • Gold Star banjo tuners
  • Resonator guitar-style stamped tailpiece


Standard features include:

  • Spherically arched back
  • Radiused fingerboard
  • Spider bridge and resonator cone
  • Maple saddle
  • Bone nut
  • Glossy lacquer finish by Addam Stark of Santa Cruz


View of the back of Mandonator 5

Body and neck of mahogany; ebony binding.

Headstock of Mandonator 5

David requested a banjo-shaped head and banjo tuners.

Closeup of soundholes, neck and head of Mandonator 5

I machined the soundhole liners out of a single piece of solid ebony. The liners incorporate internal reinforcing flanges.

View of the back of the neck and head of Mandonator 5

The use of ebony on the soundhole liners, binding, fingerboard, headstock, heel cap, and tuner buttons provides a very unified effect.

You can see photos of this instrument under construction on its Shop Talk page.


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